Let's be honest. I'm emotional. I cry happy tears ALL THE TIME, I feel empathy for everyone, and I can find sentiment in almost anything. So, it's only natural that after having a good day with the girls today, I cried my happy tears and realized something...I need to be present, and I need to let a lot of things go.
As I said before, I had a good, make that great, day with the girls, and I learned a couple things. I learned that Noelle was so much more behaved today than usual because I was THERE. I was PRESENT. I am blessed with two beautiful, healthy girls, and on top of it, I get to be with them A LOT. Sure, everyone needs a break. Any and all parents should be able to relish in some sort of free time and have space away from their children. Kids are demanding. I know. I have one of the most demanding, difficult, and challenging kids, ever. But really, I am actually the lucky one. I'm so lucky to be able to be with them all the time. That's one of the things I had to learn today. I hadn't been seeing myself as the lucky one lately, but more of the tortured one with the never ending to do list, with the crying, never satisfied children.
I had big plans for this morning. It was our first free morning with no plans, no play dates, no errands, nothing. I was looking forward to picking up the house, loading the dishes, doing some laundry, etc. The house was horrendous. It needed to be done.
The last few days I had tried to pick up, but every time I did, Noelle would create a mess again. I couldn't keep up with the laundry. We had been looking at the same 3 bins for over a month because every time I folded the laundry, Noelle insisted on helping me, which ended up meaning the folded clothes would get unfolded again, put in wrong piles, end back in the bin, or never make it to the dresser. I had listened to her constant whining for the last week while I tried to get stuff done, which resulted in me saying "no" a lot and caused her to cry/whine/scream more. It was irritating, frustrating, and left us both grouchy.
I was going to pop in a DVD and get to work. Then for some reason I decided, screw this. I then played Barbies with Noelle all morning while holding Halle, then we read books. Like, a lot of them. Like, 34 of them. It was almost exhausting but it was wonderful. I don't know the last time I took the time out solely to just read books with Noelle on my lap. Halle laid on the ground next to us and listened. We cuddled. We laughed. We tickled. We were lazy. I got nothing done. At all. In fact, the house might look worse.
I learned today that my kids are far more important to me than anything else. Why I get myself worked up over the house being dirty is beyond me. I feel constantly this pressure to be a perfect mom. You know, the mom that throws amazing parties, wears makeup, looks gorgeous all the time, has an immaculate house, keeps up on the housework, etc. Well these things don't really make a perfect mom. What Noelle thinks is a perfect mom is the one that plays with her and listens to her ramble on. What Halle thinks is a perfect mom is the one that cuddles her even when she's content and could just be sitting in her bouncy chair.
I felt bittersweet today when I went to work. I felt happy and sad all at once. I felt so happy that I finally "got it." It's time to spend time with the kids, let everything else go. The house will be there later. Work will be there later. There's no reason to strive for perfection. I don't need the cleanest house. I don't need to have this perfect persona. It's time to enjoy the kids, stop yelling, stop correcting, stop perfecting. It's time to be PRESENT.